City strikers to get their chance to shine after Morias’ Peterborough move

St Albans City's management team troop off at the end of the game. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

St Albans City's management team troop off at the end of the game. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

The sale of Junior Morias to Peterborough United will open the door for others – but first they need to stop conceding goals.

The St Albans City striker played his last game for the club in Boxing Day’s 4-2 reverse at home to Oxford City before his move to Sky Bet League One side Peterborough United becomes official on January 1.

But while manager Ian Allinson says he will be a huge miss, he has no fears about the talent set to replace him.

He said: “People don’t see what [Morias] does in the changing room and on the training pitch. He’s got an infectious character and he’s very bubbly. He builds the changing room in terms of team spirit and for someone as young as him to be a leader, he’s going to be a loss.

“And he’ll be a loss on the playing side too but I feel we’ve got players who can come in and do what Junior has done.

“When he was out with suspension, Sam Merson showed he was more than capable of replacing him.

“We won’t stifle [Merson’s] progression, and he’ll get more chances now, but we’ve also brought in Christian Assombalonga to have a look at.”

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Another of those strikers is veteran Jamie Cureton, who opened his City account on Boxing Day with two first-half efforts.

Allinson said: “I think he will be disappointed he didn’t add to that. He’s had two or three good chances after that but his movement and his ability to get behind defenders was clear. He’s a great signing and he’ll only get better when he plays more games at this level.”

The problem though is at the other end. City were 3-0 down after 25 minutes thanks to Jefferson Louis, James Roberts and Reece Fleet.

Louis’ fourth, the result of some poor defending midway through the second half, finished the game as a contest.

It was City’s second defeat in a row, and both have seen them ship four goals.

And that will be where Saints will focus their attention in training ahead of the return fixture on New Year’s Day.

Allinson said: “Defensively we were poor and in midfield we didn’t get to grips with their young lads.

“We’ve not changed it around too much. They’re the same players but they’re not poor players, they just didn’t defend well enough.

“We will have to look at what personnel we’ve got and who can come in and improve us and give us energy because that was lacking.”

However, the biggest disappointment was the performance in front of a bumper holiday crowd of 1,049.

He said: “The town has turned up and we’ve let them down. To get [over] 1,000 on Boxing Day is amazing and it’s a shame because we haven’t let them down too many times this season.

“We’ve got a tough month in January but first and foremost we have to make sure we defend properly, don’t concede and starting winning games again.”